Dr. Bruce Sloan

By Dr. Bruce Sloan

A statement recently made to me by a gracious Christian lady, firmly stated “A Christian cannot be a Democrat.” Being stunned for a moment, as I am a Christian and a Democrat, I attempted to reflect through that statement. But then as a Southern Baptist, I believe in miracles. Maybe I was that miracle of being both a Christian and a Democrat. Wow, I have received my miracle!

The four-year cycle of electing a President of the United States of America is back. And each time the election season offers new and heart-cringing viewpoints. This year has been the year of pointedly questioning one’s belief in Jesus Christ in politics.

Years ago I remember a street preacher from Chattanooga holding a sign up at both the national political conventions declaring that “Jesus is a Republican.” I was always fascinated how easy and cheaply one can influence the national media. A little paper and pen and you are on the news for your 15 minutes of fame. Sadly, not long after, he committed suicide because of a gender issue. Read More…

How do religion and politics intersect in the 2012 election?

The Pew Forum, which conducts and publishes survey data, demographic analyses, and other social science research pertaining to religion and public life, has released a study and graphics depicting the voting preferences of major religious groups in America.  The data is drawn from a recent telephone survey of registered voters conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.  

The Pew Research Center currently shows the two candidates in a dead heat.  Respondents were asked to answer the question, Now, suppose the 2012 presidential election were being held TODAY. If you had to choose between Barack Obama, the Democrat, OR Mitt Romney, the Republican, who would you vote for? 

Various charts and graphs break down the response according to religious affiliation, ideology, age, gender, and other demographics. With the interactive tools on the Pew Forum’s website, you can toggle between white evangelicals and black evangelicals, for example, to consider how various religious segments have leaned over the course of several months.

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Sister Simone Campbell

Airwaves are abuzz with sound bites and video clips from the speech of Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Roman Catholic social justice organization NETWORK and leader of Nuns on the Bus.  In expressing her support for the Obama-Biden presidential ticket, Campbell spoke in terms of universal human appeal, but did not shy away from calling Paul Ryan’s proposed budget immoral.  

From a religious perspective, Sister Simone Campbell’s message represents compliance as much as protest.  She introduced her appeal not as her own opinion, or even that of NETWORK or Nuns on the Bus, but as an expression of “our shared catholic faith.”  While news agencies quote her line that Ryan’s budget fails the moral test, Campbell actually attributed this determination to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  This is more than a hat-tip.  NETWORK has been the target of an investigation and criticism by the Vatican and USCCB for failing to push the anti-abortion and anti-gay positions usually associated with the Republican Party.  So why the open show of submission? Read More…

National campaigns in the United States in the twenty-first century reveal the need for an organization to specifically foster Christian reform. Concern over the success of conservative American Christians in influencing that election and in reaching a majority among regular churchgoers is very real and demands an effective response. Nor is Europe perfectly free from the problem, as is seen in the struggle over the mention of God in the Europeans Constitution and in the reluctance of qualified individuals to run for elective office on a platform that conflicts with conservative church positions. Read More…